Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price.
Now, as providers of cloud-based legal practice management software, we’re normally all about the cloud. But not when it comes to the mind!
However, the situation is not without hope. Apparently, decision fatigue can be stayed by eating, which is bad news for dieters. Your brain needs glucose to process information and work optimally, and the way you get glucose is by consuming food at regular intervals. I’m not going to spoil the article, but you gotta find out what happens to the parolees once the judges began taking breaks for snacks.
Another way to keep decision fatigue at bay is to make less decisions. By doing so you conserve willpower. For example, if you plan your exercise schedule a week in advance, you decrease the odds that you won’t have will the power to exercise, since you’ll be on autopilot.
…Studies show that people with the best self-control are the ones who structure their lives so as to conserve willpower. They don’t schedule endless back-to-back meetings. They avoid temptations like all-you-can-eat buffets, and they establish habits that eliminate the mental effort of making choices. Instead of deciding every morning whether or not to force themselves to exercise, they set up regular appointments to work out with a friend. Instead of counting on willpower to remain robust all day, they conserve it so that it’s available for emergencies and important decisions.